Monday, May 24, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek Trail - Sunday, May 23


It was a pretty day out, but honestly one of the most disappointing and difficult runs ever. I was tired, I was hot, for the first time in AGES I actually felt like I couldn't physically complete the run. Couple that with having to listen to a less than stellar music mix on my phone, and it was... bad. Trying to dismiss as just a bad day, there is a long summer ahead...

Anyway, pretty day out:

Things to do different on next run? The fuel belt I just spent almost $50 on needs to be used. Even 70 degrees is too hot to be out in direct sun with nothing to drink. Miserable. Also? Cannot forget the gum again.

Overall, I suppose it could have been worse, but it was... defeating.


Treadmill Training Run - Friday, May 21

It could have been worse. Like usual, it was hot and stuffy in the gym. My iPod quit working... AGAIN??? Clearly the newer shuffles are not actually meant to be used while exercising, this is my THIRD one to fail since early February. I had to finish out my run with my iPhone - which doesn't have my gym mix on it.  Sigh.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, May 19

I'm in a slump. I'm slow, I'm tired, I'm starting to get unmotivated. It seems to be getting harder and harder to do what I have always done.  So... New things to try...

W tells me "In order to get faster, you're going to need to go slower" - Intriguing. My dad tells me the same thing. OK fine... perfect time to try something new is my super boring and annoying "long treadmill run" day. (Have I mentioned how much I loathe the treadmill???) Anyway, according to my current "race" pace (approx 30 min for a 5K), W estimated that staying in heart rate zone 2 (I think, I am new to the heart rate training methods) that I should be "distance running" at 12:23. She said I could run a bit faster, but no faster than a 12 min mile. Fascinating.... It.Seems.So.Slow. My normal pace is always sub 11 min miles, and usually between 10 and 10:30. So I'm thinking? AWESOME. It will be an easier workout, I'll be relaxed, not huffing and puffing, etc.

Sigh. Honestly it was even harder (or just as hard) as one of my normal runs where I get done and spend a few minutes whining about how hot and sweaty I am and "this was the worst run ever."

I have no idea what my heart rate was since I still haven't linked up the strap with the watch.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Race - Dash & Dine 5K - Bouder, CO (Tuesday, May 18, 2010)

Somehow I thought... what better thing to do on my birthday AFTER being on vacation for a week than... race? Prior to the Birthday Of Awesome, W had asked if I wanted to join her in racing the Dash & Dine. Seemed like a good idea? Anyway. We texted briefly before I left for work, and W said she was still planning on racing, assuming it wasn't thundering and lightning. I had some time to kill before meeting up with J for my awesome birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (Ha, eating like crap to continue for JUST.ONE.MORE.MEAL). The sky looked dark but it wasn't actually raining, so around 5:30 I headed over. I got lost (headed to the actual Boulder Reservoir instead of Tom Watson parking lot). Anyway. Met up with W and headed over to register. We had a few minutes to kill and W gave me my birthday present - a heart rate strap to link with my awesome Garmin! Couldn't figure out how to get it to work, and race day is probably not the best time to be messing with it. Jogged over to the start line and the weather was certainly looking suspicious:

At least it wasn't thundering or raining. Yet. At the start line with W:

I knew I couldn't pace with W, so I backed off a bit, and started at the back of the pack, where I remained for the entire race. All that fudge and pizza from the last week had caught up with me and I felt... fat, for lack of a better word. Not to mention lack of sleep from getting back so late last night. So, it was a hard race for me. There was some wind that made the open stretches pretty tough. I was already struggling as the race was coming to an end when I felt some rain. Within seconds it was coming down HARD. A super awesome hail/rain mix that made it tough for me to even see the finish line! I literally crossed the finish line, grabbed W and jogged back to the car. By the time I got there I was completely soaked from head to toe and covered with a muddy layer (on my new white running/tennis skirt!!!) And then I had to get in Bee Rad and it was all a wet, muddy, mess. This is the parking lot:

According to W, this is a "freaky Boulder race" - meaning that the people who run it are pretty fast. Um. Yeah. I came in last in my age group, and only a handful of people finished slower than me. All things considered, it actually could have been worse.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vacation Training Runs - Birthday of Awesome Week

In the past I have always packed my running gear with every intention of running while on vacation, but have only actually done so a few times. Well. Times are different now. I have a pretty intense set of races coming up over the next six months so I couldn't very well justify taking off almost a week!

Hilton Head Island, SC - Wednesday, May 12

We had gotten up ridiculously early on Wednesday morning. Our flight to Jacksonville left Denver at 6:20 in the morning, so we were up at 4:15 to get there on time. We had a connecting flight in Atlanta, with a layover of about 2.5 hours before arriving in Jacksonville around 3:30 in the afternoon. Got the rental car and started the drive up to South Carolina. Pretty much the only purpose being... crossing the border. South Carolina is one of the few states I have never been to, so what better thing to do once I'm there, but... run!! 170 miles or so later, we arrive at Hilton Head Island. And what a great place to do a run!

We had originally planned on only running a mile or so, but after we got out there we decided to run a 5K. The toughest part of the run was that since we *hadn't* planned on a long run, we hadn't brought our iPods along, and I was reminded how much I loathe listening to the sound of my own breathing. So, we did a bit more than a 5K and ran for 35 minutes.

Brunswick, GA - Thursday, May 13

Wow. I am just amazed that people are able to run in this weather! It's only May, and yet, SO HOT AND HUMID!! We headed out fairly early (around 9 am) and it was already in the 80's. We found a cute park not too far from the hotel. Here I am standing by the Genoa Martin Memorial Marker:

The park was a lot smaller than we realized and there were no sidewalks or paths to speak of. We ended up doing a "scenic" jog through the Palmetto Cemetery and a secluded neighborhood. Hot, long, 35 minute jog in Georgia? Done.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Friday, May 14

Again. You would have to actually be certifiable to intentionally run outside in Florida. Wow. After just a few minutes I was sweating and uncomfortable. I had seen a path behind our hotel:

I was actually surprised at the number of people (both young and old) that I saw walking around on our run. Why??? So hot!!! Our run took us through a neighborhood that had no sidewalks, but that didn't stop us. Here is a self portrait after about 20 minutes:

Oh yeah. That's massive amounts of sweat. I had chosen NOT to wear my sunglasses for once (I didn't bring my actual running ones and I found with all the sweat that my casual wear ones are not tight enough so I decided it was better to squint than to be constantly adjusting). Anyway, I was pretty happy when the time was up, this was the most miserable run on the trip to date.

Carnival Imagination/Jogging Track - Saturday, May 15

I almost was starting to feel a bit obsessed when I decided that I still had to go running even though we were on the cruise ship. We kept getting lost on the boat, so our option was to jog around the "Olympic Jogging Track" on the top deck of the boat. It was WINDY. Normally I just sorta complain and deal with it, but it was really tough. On one side it felt like you were barely moving and coming down the other it felt like gale force winds were going to blow you right off the deck. We jogged about 15 minutes and gave up. Even though the Garmin was activated, between the wind and the movement of the boat it computed us running at near Olympic speeds. Hahaha... Here is a picture of me with my awesome windblown hair. And awfully sweaty for only jogging 15 minutes.


And here is a view of the ship from the track:

Carnival Imagination/Fitness Center - Sunday, May 16

Last full day on the boat... I ended up napping and then, then after getting to listen to some fitness tips from Danny Wood I of course had the motivation to head up to the gym. No wonder we had trouble finding it. With no actual signage I happened to ask the woman working at the spa desk - lo and behold, head through the spa and there is a fitness center complete with an aerobics room, treadmills, bikes, weights, etc.

Treadmill run of misery... I think all the days of eating poorly and drinking too much alcohol and not getting enough rest were catching up with me. I was lethargic and tired and dehydrated and just... BLAH. But that did not stop me from suffering through 2 sets on the treadmill, barely finishing 4 miles in 45 minutes.

Long story short... it's tough to train while on vacation.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Race - Mother's Day Title 9K+ - Boulder, CO (Sunday, May 9, 2010)

For Mother's Day, my sisters and I decided to run the Mother's Day Title 9K+ at the Boulder Reservoir. 9K+ you might be asking? Yes... essentially 9.9K, which my Garmin calculated at 6.12 miles. Random. The weather had been iffy the last few weeks, so I was pretty relieved that the forecast was predicting a high of 71, which meant near perfect temps for the 9 am start. L and I met up with our older sister, W, in Boulder at 7:35 (only 5 minutes late, a record!) and we headed out. L still needed to get her packet, but that took only a few minutes, and we decided to hang out in the car until the race started. We made a somewhat poor decision of waiting a bit too long to use the port-o-potties before the race started, and we barely had enough time before gun time. No timing chips on this one, so it was a bit more important to get to the start on time (which, phew, we did). So W and L took off and I was alone almost immediately. Within the first few minutes, I was already regretting the beers I had the night before. I felt fatigued and dehydrated and made a conscious decision to stop and get water or gatorade (or both) at each aid station (which were supposedly at every mile). The weather was certainly the best part of my race, and with my new pouch, I was able to pull out my camera for the first time mid-race and get some pictures:

The canal - I loved the "certain death if entered" warning on the signs that were posted every 50 or so feet:

W got a shot of me running by toward the finish line (what's up with that chick blocking her shot??):

And we got someone to get a shot of team "Bee Rad" post-race:

I certainly struggled through this one, but the first half was worse than the second. I seemed to get a bit more energized for the last mile and actually ended with my fastest pace of the race:

Overall though, I'm pleased with the run, and will obviously suck less next time. PS... next year call it a 10K... calling it a 9K when it's less than .1 off from a 10K is discouraging. Kthx.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Treadmill Training Run - Wednesday, May 5

I hadn't done a long treadmill run in a while, and I wasn't looking forward to it. The 25 minute jog I did on Tuesday after the 24 S.E.T. Class was more than enough. But... Wednesday night is long run night, so I had to do the full hour.

Half of what makes the gym fun for me is the clothes. I will admit I have more workout clothes than any person needs, but... I like my outfits "loud" - like me (hahaha):

The picture really does not do the shorts justice. They are neon yellow. NEON!! I also have them in an equally fun shade of safety orange.  I just love the new retro line from Nike, certainly helps make my outfits more fun.  But yeah, really, the clothes were the best part of the run. It wasn't the worst run ever, but I was fatigued and time pretty much stopped for the hour. As always, the major success is finishing without taking a break or walking. Hurrah!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek Trail - Sunday, May 2

This might sound odd coming from someone who has decided to run a half marathon in every state, but today's training run of 10.45 miles is the longest training run I've ever done. Actually, other than the one half marathon I've done, this was my second longest run ever. It was a chilly day for a run again, but I opted to stick with my tank and shorts, even though it was 52 degrees and overcast when we headed out. I was mildly regretting my decision around 1.3 miles in when I started seeing some raindrops. Luckily, they didn't materialize into a real rain. And a few miles in, the sun actually came out:

It was also kind of windy, which it made it feel like I was working really hard on the way out. Got to the turnaround point and I was NOT feeling it. The last four miles or so of the run were a struggle, but I made it back to the car without walking, which I consider a victory. Another random piece of farm equipment along the run:

My pace was definitely a lot slower on the way back, but I'm just happy my watch clocked the whole run. Long story short... Garmin decided I needed to do a firmware update. Which apparently is buggy with a Mac OS. Every time I sync a run, my watch freezes, which requires a reset. I have been forgetting to turn off the GPS, so when I took my watch off the charger, the battery was dead from running GPS non-stop since Friday. Annoying... at least everything has a USB port now so I was able to plug it into my car charger but I wasn't entirely optimistic that 28% battery was going to be enough for the run. Checking out the map, still have no clue how far the trail goes:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Outdoor Training Run - Big Dry Creek Trail - Friday, April 30

In my mission to suck less and be more awesome, I've added more outdoor training runs to my schedule - the new mantra being that no matter what the weather is, I have to run. I've been pretty lucky so far and I wasn't too thrilled to see that it was raining/snowing on and off while I was at work. Compound that with no sun? Blah. But, I was bound and determined, so... L was not able to do a run with me, so I opted for the "easier" Big Dry Creek Trail. I was at least smart enough to wear my long sleeve Canyonlands tech shirt and capris. But 47 degrees when the sun isn't shining and the wind is blowing, and light rain is falling? Chilly.  I run past the Armed Forces Tribute Garden (hard to see because the sun wasn't out):

I usually encounter quite a few people when I'm out running, but with the weather being so questionable, I only saw one guy on his bike with his dog, and one fellow jogger (who was wearing shorts?!) Since I was doing an out and back, I decided to do my bare minimum run (of a 5K), not wanting to get caught out in open fields if it started to downpour. Sure enough, the rain starting coming down (lightly) when I was about 10 minutes away from the car. Speaking of random things I see along my runs? This piece of farm equipment...

All in all, the run was a success as I made it back without getting drenched. First outdoor run pace under 10 minute miles in a while:

Week in Review (April 2 - April 8)

Tuesday  (17,510) - Peloton before work in the office. Did my short cross training and left at lunch since Joyce is on vacation. Finally sto...